The Tank Museum is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles at Bovington Camp in Dorset, South West England. It is about 1 mile north of the village of Wool and 12 miles west of the port of Poole. The collection traces the history of the tank, with almost 300 vehicles on exhibition from 26 countries it is the largest collection of tanks and the third largest collection of armoured vehicles in the world. It includes Tiger 131, the only working example of a German Tiger I tank and a British First World War Mark I and it is the museum of the Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps and a registered charity. Bovington Camp, in which the museum is located, trains most sections of the British Army in tracked-vehicle driving as well as repairing and maintaining the vehicles in its workshops, in 1916 the British War Office established the Bovington camp as a tank crew training facility. At that time the army was introducing tanks into the First World War in an attempt to break the stagnation of trench warfare, in 1919 the tanks returned to Bovington from France. Many of them were fit only for scrap, a small number of the least damaged vehicles were put to one side so that tank crews and designers could have an idea of the tanks early heritage. In 1923 the writer Rudyard Kipling visited Bovington and recommended a museum should be set up, the collection grew greatly after the Second World War, as many Allied and captured Axis tanks were added. In 1947 it was opened to the general public, the Tank Museum has continued to expand and today it is primarily seen as a means of educating and entertaining the general public, with the exhibition being geared in this direction. Many of the tanks are in working order and can be seen in action throughout summer months in special displays. The museum holds an annual TankFest display of their operating vehicles, in 2012, the museums historian David Fletcher, who had been an employee since 1982, was made an MBE for his services to the history of armoured warfare. World War I Hall Along with “The Trench Experience” this hall has recently been refurbished & renamed, as well as containing the majority of the museums World War I tanks it now tells the story of men who crewed the first tanks between 1916 and 1918. The Lawrence of Arabia exhibition is no longer in the hall, featured tanks, Mark I tank, IV, V, IX & Mark VIII Libertytanks. Inter War Hall Refurbished in 2014, this hall now explores the rise of the tank, featured tanks, Vickers A1E1 Independent, Peerless Armoured Car & Vickers Light tank, Mark II. World War II Hall The biggest section, with tanks from most nations involved in the conflict and this hall contains the Battlegroup Afghanistan exhibition. The men of the Royal Armoured Corps who have involved in some of the fiercest fighting since World War Two. The hall also contains a Conqueror, Chieftain, Challenger 1, the newly installed children’s soft play area is also located there. British Steel Hall Explores the design & technology that goes into making tanks, there is a mock production line of Centurions, as well as prototype and experimental vehicles
The redeveloped museum, with control tower for the adjoining events area.